“Winx Club Etymology, Part I: The Winx”
~ By Power of Charmix ~
I’ve always found the meaning of names to be fascinating to research, especially when it comes to fiction. It’s fun to see what hidden meanings the creators of something may have left hiding in plain sight, or what weird parallels you might find by accident. Recently, I decided to see what I might discover upon looking into the names of some Winx Club characters, locations, and other things.
However, because there’s so much to talk about, I’m going to be breaking this into multiple posts. This first one is going to be focusing specifically on the Winx and some characters that others consider to be honorary Winx (Roxy, Daphne, and Mirta). Without further ado, we’ll start with Bloom.
As you likely know, the word bloom refers to when a flower begins to open up its petals, which makes me think of Bloom’s adoptive mother Vanessa, since she’s a florist. I’ve also seen the idea that her name might be referring to the phrase “late bloomer,” since she was the last of the Winx to be able to transform, and was less magically skilled than the others at the beginning of the show. Finally, the word bloom can also be used to refer to something flourishing or thriving. Under that definition, Bloom herself could be considered a bloom; for a long time, she was the only survivor of the attacks on Domino, but she still thrived no matter what obstacles were thrown her way.
Let’s move on to Bloom’s best friend. Stella means “star” in Latin (and Italian). All suns are stars, so this name makes perfect sense for her.
Stella is called the Fairy of the Shining Sun in some versions of the show, and most of her spells are related to the sun in some way. Her home planet is based completely on its sunny climate, and Stella herself even has a bright and sunny personality and tends to wear a lot of orange. She also always wants to be the center of attention, or the star, so it can even work in multiple ways — in English, at least. I don’t know if that works in Italian, or any other languages.
Flora comes from the Latin word for “flower,” flos. In Roman mythology, there was a minor goddess named Flora who reigned over flowers, youth, and spring, and there was even a festival held during spring in her honor called the Floralia. Nowadays, the word flora is used to describe the plant life that makes up an area.
Musa can be a real-life name, but it’s usually a masculine name, not a feminine one. However, musa is the Italian word for “muse.” I wonder if this might relate to her parents — maybe Musa inspired them when writing and performing their music. There’s also the chance that I’m overthinking this, and they just took the word “music” and added an “a” to it.
I couldn’t find any examples of the name Tecna outside of Winx Club, so as you probably guessed, her name also comes from her magic ability with an “a” added.
As Tori has mentioned before, Aisha means “alive” or “she who lives,” and it means similar things in other languages. She shares the name with one of the prophet Muhammad’s wives, who apparently once led troops into battle herself. This was rather remarkable, considering that this battle took place in the 600’s and she was a woman. It reminded me of Aisha’s anti-boy attitude during the first few seasons, and how she’s one of the strongest Winx when it comes to combat skills.
I’d also like to to talk about Aisha’s alternate dub name, Layla. Layla means “dark” in Arabic, and the most noted use of this name is in Layla and Majnun, a Persian narrative poem based on a semi-historical story from the seventh century. In it, a girl named Layla falls in love with a boy named Qays (nicknamed Majnun) when she’s very young, but her father doesn’t allow them to be married. He marries Layla off to another man, and she and Qays never see each other again. (The rest of the poem is mostly just Qays wandering around in the desert being depressed.)
The fact that Qays and Layla never see each other again reminded me of Aisha and Anne, as they also never meet again after being seperated at a young age. The arranged marriage between Layla and the other man also reminded me of the arranged marriage between Aisha and Nabu, and how Aisha originally protested against it. Of course, Aisha ended up falling in love with Nabu, whereas Layla never loved her husband and even died of heartbreak in some versions of the story.
Roxy is presumably the shortened version of Roxanne, which traces back to the Persian/Bactrian name Roshanak, which means “bright” or “dawn.” I’m not quite sure if this relates to Roxy’s character at all.
Daphne’s name has a somewhat interesting story behind it. Daphne means “laurel” in Greek, and there was a character with that name in Greek mythology. Daphne was a naiad (a type of nymph connected to rivers and other bodies of water), and the god Apollo fell in love with her and began chasing her around. In an attempt to escape him, Daphne prayed to her father, a river god, for help. In response, her father turned her into a laurel tree.
Afterwards, Apollo began creating wreaths out of laurel leaves, and those wreaths became one of his symbols. This is somewhat reminiscent of Winx Club’s Daphne being turned into a cursed spirit while running away from the Ancestral Witches. The stories are obviously very different in a lot of places, but I just thought the parallels were interesting.
And finally, Mirta is a Spanish, Italian, and Croatian cognate (a word that sounds similar to a word in another language) of the name Myrtle. Myrtle is simply an evergreen shrub that can be used to symbolize love and was sacred to several Greek and Roman gods.
I hope you all enjoyed this post, because I really enjoyed researching and writing it. I do have to say that I wasn’t expecting so many of these characters to derive their names from plants. I’ll be talking about the guys’ names in the next post, so stay tuned!